Getting Started on the Ancestral AIP
Eat Nutrient-Dense Foods that are ‘Ancestry Approved’
“Historically, humans ate plenty of plant foods if they could, simply because plants don’t run away.”
“Not that long ago, a Seasonal Diet was not up for debate.”
“Root Cellars and the ability to preserve and ferment vegetables invented the essential ingredient for cultural and technological growth – more spare time.”
Unless your immune system has become hypersensitive to Lectins (See this Article – The Standard AIP),https://allthingsautoimmunity.com/the-standard-autoimmune-protocol-aip/ your body is adapted to eating and needing a lot of vegetables. Especially in times of repair and rejuvenation.
Research done by Dr. Terry Wahlshttps://terrywahls.com/tag/vegetables/ suggests that at least 6 measured cups of vegetables EVERY DAY is essential for optimal health and a robust Microbiome.
EAT YOUR VEGGIES!
When it comes to vegetables, we all have some important decisions to make.
We have all been told since we were children that you have to eat your vegetables. These crunchy, flavorful, seasonal, and colourful gifts from the garden are full of vitamins, minerals, bioflavonoids, essential fibres and phytosterols. They are the most predictably beneficial thing you can eat – if you try a few experiments and make a few decisions.
When I meet with patients and talk about food, one frequent topic is ‘how much cooked veggies and how much raw?’ There are a lot of factors that determine this for each individual. The best way to find out is to be intuitive and take notes. Listen to your body. It may be screaming for a slice of pizza, but below that craving is a sense of what you need. A side of mashed roots with a lot of fat, a big salad with olives and avocados, or both, or neither? (See the Poop Rule, below)
Another decision is fibre. We all need a specific balance of Soluble Fibre and Insoluble Fibre, and yes that is fairly individual as well. Since you are committing to no grains and beans for a few months, you are very likely going to see a change in your bowel movements. Each of us also has to take the time to see what works or have a conversation with a clinician that would know what should work best. Again, listen to your body. Look at your Poop! You want to see a few banana-shaped pieces without any undigested food.
Another decision is which version of ‘Ancestral Approved’, you choose. Some people focus on what their ancestors ate a few hundred years ago. (wherever they are from you can find out what they ate online). Another option is to consider what all humans ate ten thousand years. We were all still chasing goats and pigs as migratory herders, hunters, and gatherers. Farther back, as far as my research has shown, humans were at the beach during Ice Ages, munching on a lot of fish. If that is a new idea, check out The Aquatic Ape Theory. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aquatic_ape_hypothesis
The first challenge we all face on the AIP is finding out what works for you. Listen to your body. Try not to think of this as a bunch of rules, this is just the common sense of eating the most nutrient-dense food possible.
Having all of these Nutrient-Dense foods in your diet will help you:
- Repair your body’s tissues more rapidly
- Improve all aspects of circulation
- Relieve pain
- Reduce inflammation
- Improve your mood
- Shorten recovery time from exercise
- Increase fertility
- Improve sleep depth
- Slow the ageing process
Start planning how to eat more vegetables today!
There is a recipe for Braised Cabbage, below, for an all-time veggie classic with some options to help you wrap your mind around how all of this works.
First off, we need to talk about your poop.
Digestion can get complicated and every one is unique.
When it comes to increasing your vegetable consumption, the easiest way to ensure your digestive system is enjoying and benefiting from all of your hard work chopping and cleaning vegetables is to look at your feces or poop.
If you see undigested food in the toilet, especially vegetables, you should support your digestive health (see a clinician) and reduce your raw vegetable consumption for a while. In Traditional Chinese medicine, every patient is encouraged to eat cooked vegetables, most if not all of the time.
If you are eating only cooked vegetables and still seeing them in the toilet, go and see a clinician.
Your Vegetable Shopping List
Every week, try and get creative with a new seasonal vegetable. The more colours, flavours, and textures the better!
*Dark and Leafy vegetables that can survive a frost, like kale, collards, chard and mature spinach, contain Oxalic Acid.https://www.saragottfriedmd.com/oxalate-overload-how-it-affects-your-gut-urinary-tract-and-risk-of-autoimmune-conditions/
Leaves and Greens
Roots and Tubers
Braised Red Cabbage (Serves 4)
- 1 medium red cabbage, quartered, hearts removed, sliced thinly or grated
- 1 medium onion, halved and thinly sliced
- 4 strips bacon cut into squares
- 2 Tbsp coconut oil, lard or olive oil
- 1 large apple, cubed
- 1/2 cup slivered almonds, separated
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup Bone Broth
- 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar (optional)
- 2 tsp honey
- 1/2 cup crumbled Goat Feta (optional)
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
In a large skillet, sauté the bacon, oil, onions, cabbage, broth and both vinegars for 10 minutes. Stir regularly to break down the cabbage evenly. Add the honey, apple, half of the almonds and season with salt and pepper. Simmer for 5 minutes. Taste, season and serve, garnished with remaining almonds and cheese. This goes AMAZING with sausages and avocados.
Eat Some Fruit – (Small amounts with fat)
All fruits are yummy, many are full of vitamins and some are very nutrient-dense.
They also contain two kinds of sugars (Glucose and Fructose) that can create common metabolic imbalances. It is best to focus on small servings and add some fat for better digestion. By adding a small amount of fat, it slows the absorption of the sugars and helps protect you from some of the microorganisms that are hungry for any and all carbohydrates.
As Above: if you see undigested fruit in your poop, eat less and talk with your health care team.
Berries are the BEST!
Dry the peels!
Spicy Pineapple Chutney (Serves 8 – 10)
- 2 cups pineapple, diced
- 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 2 Tbsp Lime Juice
- 1 cup diced red onions
- 1 Tbsp garlic, minced and crushed
- 2 Tbsp ginger, diced and crushed
- 1 Tbsp fresh Jalapeno, seeds removed and diced fine
- 1 tsp honey
- 1 tsp Garam Masala
- 1 tsp died chili flakes
- 1 tsp sea salt
In a medium saucepan, sauté the pineapple, onions, garlic and jalapeno in vinegar for 5 minutes. Add the ginger, honey, lime juice and remaining spices and simmer at a medium temperature for 20 minutes, or until desired thickness.
Cool and serve or refrigerate for up to 3 weeks.
Eat More Fat – (Fat is Your Friend!)
Fats are the most nutrient-dense foods there are. There is no water, fibre, or any other nutrient. Simple, nourishing, and most fats are VERY good for you.
Healthy fats support metabolic, hormonal and neurological health, as well as reduce inflammation. The fastest way to make most fats unhealthy is to overheat them or to let them go rancid.
*Ghee, or Clarified Butter, is safe for those who have no dairy sensitivities (get tested) in Phase Three and Phase Four of The Ancestral AIP.
Grape Seed Oil (rarely)
Abundant Protein – (Cooked Slow)
There are a lot of opinions about how much protein people should eat, or whether too much meat can make you sick. In my experience, most people do well eating a pound of meat per day if it is cooked in a healthy way. That may sound like a lot but I assure you that it is safe.
Here is the math: one pound of meat contains approximately 120 grams of actual protein. The average adult daily protein consumption is about 80 grams. The AIP restricts a lot of high calorie and high carbohydrate foods, so you will have to find some calories where you can. Also, during any extensive healing process, it is good to have abundant protein to support growth and repair.
When you Fry or BBQ most meats they become harder to digest, more inflammatory and more likely to be a factor in many chronic diseases. If you braise your meats, they become much more digestible and nutritious.
Domesticated and Wild Animals
AIP Approved Condiments and Sauces
When you are working towards a happy and healthy immune system, you need to avoid a lot of the easy stuff, especially condiments. Mass-produced condiments often contain industrially made acids, thickeners and emulsifiers, as well as rancid and inflammatory oils.
It is more enjoyable and healthier to make your own condiments at home!
Herbs and Spices
Balsamic berry Reductions
Apple Cider Vinegar
Beet and Carrot Ketchup
I hope that gives you enough of a grocery list to get started.
This is a journey and potentially a life-changing adventure.
Try new things, new flavours, and the wisdom of Grandmothers from around the world.
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